Releasing The Past

June was an emotionally challenging month for me. The “why” does not seem that important, other than to say that four events stirred up residual grief and sadness that I had repressed and tried to ignore. So, two weeks ago, I decided it was time to do something to explore the emotional aches hidden deep inside, and I committed to writing an “I release…” statement every day for twenty-one consecutive days. Here is what I have already learned…

… Writing each day about what I am choosing to release, even if the time spent writing is very brief, has helped me return to my usual state of optimism. I am very grateful for that.

… Realizations are surfacing about past relationships and events that are never top-of-mind for me, but that hold unresolved feelings. Once these situations surface in my writing, I have been able to understand them in a new light and then let them go.

… In some cases, my sadness was linked to relatively recent life events – the death of my Dad in 2018 and my Mom in 2019 – but in other cases the source of sadness went back many years.

… What I believed to be the source of sadness was often not. Some explanations I had long given myself for why a situation was painful have turned out to be a superficial understanding of the causes. This seems to have been the case, for example, in a friendship I ended with a super-critical and judgmental friend.

Day by day, I am understanding how much of the past I have been lugging around with me, and how exhausting that is. In a conversation with a dear friend this week, we realized – together – that she, too, was carrying the burden of past decisions and events she thought had been resolved. They were not, and I understood in a new way how common it is for us to carry burdens we could choose to let go.

I hope you will share how YOU release the past, and I am looking forward to even lighter, brighter days ahead.

Image credit: © Alina Datsyuk |

7 thoughts on “Releasing The Past”

  1. Shamila Zubairi

    Thank you for sharing this this. I have clearly not been able process my grief and anger. I will commit to do the same starting today. I will write when the thoughts erupt in my mind. Mostly they are the most painful when I wake up so that would be a good time.

  2. Thank you, Sharon, for sharing your recent struggles with memories of the past. Alina D.’s image of the hands releasing the symbolic birds deeply moved me. Her image and your words inspired me to “pause,” pick up my pen and journal to release memories of my past that still haunt. With gratitude, Kate

  3. How do I release the past?
    I release by allowing myself to cry when Grief wells up. I honour that in me which seeks to be heard.

    We’re used to honouring and welcoming in joy when we think of the past. Why aren’t we also honouring sorrow or grief?

  4. Sharon,
    Thank you for your gift of expression. I do indeed wish you lighter and brighter days ahead. When it comes to the past, I strive to embrace the blessings and understand the burdens in a way that helps me continue to grow and learn. Some of the most difficult times in my life created the person I have become (and sometimes how others have evolved) so while incredibly painful at the time I have learned (and continue to learn) to accept them as pivotal to my life. Meditation, prayer, writing and deep personal discussions have been instrumental to moving forward.

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